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  • The Burlesquerade is an annual costumed gala on a yacht that brings together 1,200 of New York’s techies, bankers, and artists for a wild night of partying.
  • The Burning Man-esque party features a lineup of DJs, aerialists, burlesque dancers, and performance artists — as well as cacao ceremonies, sound healing, and more.
  • It began as a the birthday party of Timothy Phillips, the co-founder of Lightning Society, a self-described “community of changemakers.”

By 10:30 p.m., I was ready to collapse on the dance floor. Everyone else was heading to an afterparty at a far-off warehouse. That’s the kind of party New York’s Burlesquerade is.

Now in its 7th year, the annual costumed gala has grown from a birthday party in a tiny apartment to an extravaganza on a 30,000 square-foot “super yacht” featuring an eye-popping lineup of DJs, aerialists, burlesque dancers, and performance artists.

The Burning Man-esque party attracts 1,200 partygoers ranging from bigwigs at Goldman Sachs and Facebook to Brooklyn’s DIY fashion designers and filmmakers. Timothy Phillips, the man whose birthday started it all, says he hopes the event is “inspiring.”

“The idea is really just to set this expectation that everyone should be surrounded by people who inspire and motivate them all the time,” Phillips told Business Insider. “We try to create events that facilitate that.”

Phillips recently invited me to attend this year’s Burlesquerade. Here’s what it was like.

At Phillips’ insistence, I showed up at Pier 40 early so he could show me around the boat, the Hornblower Infinity. I was dressed in my costume gala finest, but in true New York form, no one batted an eye.

As I made my way through the security line, where guards studiously checked the videographers and volunteers’ bags, I spotted Phillips waiting for me.

He was dressed in a black glistening jacket that Read More Here